Do you have an "all-or-nothing" mentality? If you're going to do something you're going to give it your all. But, if you can't give it an intense effort and do everything perfectly you're not going to do it at all.
This all-or-nothing mentality can get you some great results in life but it can also hold you back from getting things you want. For example, if your goal is to organize your closets but you're procrastinating because you don't have the storage containers you want to use and you know you need a few consecutive days to get it all done so you may never even start. However, if you started with one closet and worked in phases you would be done in a few months!
Same can apply to healthy living. Maybe you don't want to start trying to lose weight because you don't have the time or energy to workout, drink water and change your diet. But what if you started with just one thing? Start by exercising a couple times a week. Then add drinking more water and changing your diet. Little by little you can make progress towards your big goal.
You can be closer to your goal in a few months or you can be where you are now. Your choice. Time will pass regardless of what you do with it.
To get past your all-or-nothing mentality you should tell yourself things like:
-Small steps are significant.
-I am doing my best.
-I am making progress towards my goal.
-Every change is important.
-I can do hard things.
Changing your mind is probably the hardest part of changing your body. Don't underestimate its power.
Your mindset makes all the difference when you're making lifestyle changes. If you're not in the correct mindset you will experience more frustration and failures than someone who's locked in a strong mindset.
How do you have a strong mindset? I'm certainly not perfect but I'll share what I do to make sure my mind is ready for challenges of life- this includes making healthy choices.
1. Affirmations- Telling yourself positive things has a big impact. Turn your negative thoughts about yourself and your capabilities into positive statements. At first you won't believe what you're saying to yourself but be persistent with this practice and you'll soon find yourself successfully changing the way your mind perceives yourself.
2. Gratitude- Just this simple practice of listing five things you're grateful for when you're in a bad mood can completely change your outlook on life. Note: this is not denying your emotions. Sometimes your "negative" (uncomfortable) emotions need to be felt and dealt with. This is instead reminding yourself of the good when you have something bad to deal with.
3. Goals- People with strong mindset are moving towards a goal. They've focused in on something and they're on their way to reach it. If you don't have a goal you're kind of like a boat without a rudder. A mind that is strong is a mind with goals.
4. Movement- A strong body creates a strong mind. Your body knows how you treat it and how much you've been exercising (or avoiding exercise). Talk to a person who never challenges their muscles about how confident they are and then go talk to someone who's been resistance training for a few months and they are notably more confident.
5. Resilience- A strong mind is resilient. It can manage to fall seven times and get up eight. Just like walking takes practice, the more you get up from a fall the better you'll be at it. The most obvious example to this mom of a toddler- A toddler learning to walk will fall a lot. Not only are they improving their walking when they try again, they're improving their ability to get up from a fall. Be resilient. Get up and you'll get stronger every time you do.
"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but there they are, talking to you. They bring back the problem of yesterday. Somebody’s talking. Who’s talking? Your self is talking to you. "
Martin Lloyd Jones
Wow that concept really hit home with me. How am I speaking to myself? It's true, usually all the negative thoughts in my head originated in my own brain not someone else's. How do we help ourselves become more positive? Talk to yourself in a positive way. Keep an optimistic attitude even when you don't feel like it. Try using your name instead of mine in the examples below...
when waking up in the morning:
Carol, you're tired but you can take on this day. Just take one task at a time and do you best. You are strong and capable.
when trying something new:
Come on Carol, you can do it! Take a deep breath, visualize success and go for it!
when overcoming a negative opinion:
Carol, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. No one is exactly you so you have a unique gift to give the world. If someone doesn't like you that's none of your business. Keep your head up and keeping doing your thing.